Survey data shows the majority of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends – often from a home medicine cabinet. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are also highly susceptible to misuse.
VA can help you safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. VA has envelopes you can use to mail your unwanted medications for disposal that is safe for the environment. These envelopes are free and do not require postage. Your VA may also have a receptacle where you can deposit your unwanted medications. Check with your VA Pharmacist on which option is available at your VA facility. Mail back packages are available to Veterans at every medical facility and VA has on-site receptacles in more than 100 locations. For Veterans unable to come into a VA facility, a mail back package can be sent to their home.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, April 28, provides a safe, convenient, and responsible way of disposing of unneeded prescription drugs at more than 5,000 collection sites nationwide. Find local Take-Back Day sites here.
VA remains committed to safe disposal at every VA medical facility and community clinic. Please do not flush drugs down toilets or drains or throw them in the trash. Discarding drugs in this manner can harm the water supply and endanger wildlife. Since 2014, Veterans have responsibly returned more than 74 tons of unneeded medication that has been destroyed by a DEA registered vendor in an environmentally responsible manner – keeping medications out of waterways and landfills.
Let VA help you keep your home and loved ones safe by responsibly ridding your home of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Click here to find a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day location near you.
About the author: Jeanne Tuttle R.Ph., is VA’s national pharmacist program manager